A Definitive Ranking of Inflatable Floating Devices

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A Definitive Ranking of Inflatable Floating Devices
So you’re renting a summer home with a pool? And you want to bring along a couple of lungs worth of those inflatable floating devices that weren’t really a thing before the advent of social media? We’ve got you covered. From the white swan to the pizza slice, here are the coolest pool toys for your long weekend, ranked.
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    14. The Dolphins
    I guess my main issue with this inflatable floating devices (referred to from here on out as IFDs) is the entire 2010 Oscar-winning, dolphin-slaughter documentary The Cove: In the same way buying a size negative-two waisted Barbie supports unhealthy body image, buying a Flipper with a creepy smile is directly supporting the myth that dolphins only exist to be our playthings.

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    13. The Whales
    Seriously, wake up! Let’s frolic with other animals that aren’t preyed upon by Sea World. Besides, these are so on the nose. A whale in water is not exactly visionary.

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    12. Whatever This Thing Is

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    11. The Watermelon Half Moon
    Let’s call a spade a spade: These are nothing but Insta-bait. They aren’t even secure to sunbathe on.

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    10. The White Swan
    Unlike most primary sources for IFDs, which are funny because outside #vacationlife they don’t spend most their day floating on water, swans glide on lakes all day long. It’s actually impressively literal. Plus, they lend their half-naked users a bit more style and grace.

    Courtesy of FUNBOY
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    9. The Flamingo
    Flamingos are not as poised as the White Swan but they are crazy colorful and kitsch. Giving them a solid B.

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    8. The Lobster Lounge
    I struggle with this one. On the one hand, a Lobster Lounge is not a real thing. The appeal of the IFD is that a real thing, not an imaginary one, has been absurdly magnified to human size and turned into a water toy. On the other hand, what the Lobster Lounge has going for it is a subversive edge. Lobsters aren’t cute and this creature embraces a human in the claws of a giant water cockroach. These are actually pretty rad.

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    7. Orange, Grapefruit, and Other Citrus Slices
    Totally obvious but genius. Citrus is circular, like the ideal floaty. Citrus comes in all sorts of gorgeous colors. And citrus has flesh that is naturally translucent, perfectly replicated as an inflatable. They glisten in the sun, too, which means better photos, more likes, more people forgetting about the bad stuff in the world for a moment. We could all use more inflatable citrus slices.

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    6. The Pizza
    Pizza is pretty much a perfect food and pretty much a perfect IFD. I’m a fan—with one caveat. If you’re gonna fill my feed with a photo of you floating around on a slice of giant fake pizza, you better actually eat pizza, too. No ironic rides, please!

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    5. The Unicorn
    Oh man, is this a good IFD or what? Not only because it’s based on an animal that is (mostly) proven to not exist and is, therefore, (probably) not exploiting an innocent, vulnerable creature’s adorability. But also because sometimes you need something to grab onto for balance and that neck is just right there, waiting to be held. Plus, by choosing this as one of your pool’s accessories, you’re betting on the possibility that one day all the other inflatables in the pool will be occupied and some masculine guy in baggy board shorts will explore the boundaries of his sexuality’s security on top of a Lisa Frank icon. A solid investment, in my opinion.

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    4. The Black Swan
    Black is a different story. These are totally badass. They combine the aforementioned functionality and elegance of the White Swan with Goth. More Instagrams of people mounting Black Swans!

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    3. The Pretzel
    What makes the Pretzel really superior to most other food-related IFDs is its remarkable versatility. You could sit on top of the center intersection, let your arms hang over the left and right wings, and gaze at the clouds all afternoon—or just for a few seconds while you pretend to be “chillin ;)” for Instagram. You could tuck your foot under the bottom bread rope for added extra comfort and sass. Or maybe you and two friends want to float around in the three different knot holes and catch up on life or Brexit with a drink? That works, too. The creator really dove deep into the question of “what in the universe’s infinite array of mundane objects could bring people together if it was reimagined in polyvinyl chloride form?” and emerged with something truly excellent. That said, if there’s one thing that the pretzel doesn’t offer, it’s a color moment. In fact, it offers the opposite. No one wants to look at brown, and especially not in a pool.

    Courtesy of Amazon
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    2. The Gold Swan
    Not to imply any of you are not wealthy, but this will totally make you look rich, albeit in a kind of Kardashian way.

    Courtesy of FUNBOY
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    1. The Partially Eaten Donut
    OK, we’ve all seen these at this point. But they still rule. Like puppies and babies, donuts just make people smile. Social media all-star Elizabeth Warren knows this. That’s why, a few weeks ago, she stormed Congress with Dunkin’ Donuts during the sit-in and instantly trended on Twitter. But this is not just any donut. It’s a strawberry-frosted, sprinkle-blessed donut that someone took a bite out of. C’mon! That’s adorably self-aware. Have a sense of humor. Have a good vacation. Buy one of these.

    Courtesy of EBay
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